What are an owner’s rights versus a lienholder?

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What are an owner’s rights versus a lienholder?

My mom is the leinholder of our mobile home. There is no mortgage as she paid in full for the trailer as a gift. I am the actual owner on all documents and title. What does this mean exactly? As long as we follow park rules and pay on time can she remove us from the home for doing something she doesn’t like? For example, if we wanted to paint inside, change flooring, get a dog, etc. Also, can we give lot rent directly to the park without having to first give it to the leinholder to hand to the park? There is no written agreement between my mom and I, simply the documents between the park and I stating me as owner and her as the lienholder.

Asked on May 9, 2017 under Real Estate Law, Michigan

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

A lien does not impart ownership rights to the lienholder. The lien just security for repayment of a debt. As long as the debt is paid as agreed, then there is nothing that a lienhilder can do regarding your ownership of the property. That having been said, if you fail to timely make your payments, then your property may possiby be seized and sold (depending on what the lein agreement provides). Otherwise, again, your property is your to do with as you wish.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

A lien is simply a guaranty of payment: the lienholder can use the lien to secure payment (e.g. by getting a share of proceeds if the home is sold; in some cases, by forcing a sale) if she is not paid whatever she is supposed to be paid (e.g. if you are making payments to her for the home). That is all a lien does--guaranty some payment or debt. The lienholder has no rights other than to be paid, and the owner can do any/everything else with the home or property.


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